you have window boxes, planters, or a full- garden, fall doesn’t have
to mean back-breaking work and an eerily desolate landscape. We have
compiled five of our favorite gardening and landscape tips for you to
keep in mind as you winterize your outdoor space. Share your favorite seasonal gardening tips in the comments!
1. Leave some leaves. This is the permission for which you have been waiting: this fall, slack on the raking! While it’s important to remove yard debris and leaves from perennial flower beds and your lawn to prevent crown rot and fungus growth, leaves left under trees and hardy shrubbery can decompose over time to be a no-fuss compost fertilizer.
2. Plant a hardy pop of festive colors. If you’re lucky, your marigolds and sunflowers might still be showing beautiful blossoms, but if your flower beds are in need of a pick-me-up, replace wilted annuals with hardy mums. Mums are a perennial that blossom in the fall and can easily be winterized later in the season for future seasonal use. No flower beds? No problem. Mums also look fabulous potted. Try carving the top off of a pumpkin and dropping the potted mum into the pumpkin for extra seasonal flair.
3. How many gardeners does it take to plant a bulb? Only one! And there’s no time like the present. Bulbs need to be planted 6-8 weeks before the first frost and October and November are the sweet spot for planting bulbs in Northern Virginia. Reference this comprehensive PDF from Fairfax County for more details about when to expect blooms from your bulbs. Also, be sure to visit your local garden center for suggestions of seeds to sow in the fall for spring and early summer harvest. Personal favorites include fava beans, Swiss chard, and spring cabbage.
4. Winterize herbs and other plants. Those potted plants you brought outside to soak in Vitamin D and rainwater need to be brought inside to acclimate before you turn your heat on for the cooler months. Be sure to rinse plants off before bringing them inside to avoid tracking unwanted pests into your house. Many herbs can be dug up and grown inside in cool, sunny spot. If you don’t have space inside for your lushes herbs, there are many options for dehydrating and freezing harvested leaves including: dehydrating for loose leaf tea and pureeing and freezing in oil for delish herb infused cooking.
5. Short on time? Bring in a pro! We get it! The kids are back to school and you’re on the go! There’s barely time to make dinner and definitely not time to manage the jungle that your garden and yard have become in the dog days of summer. Hire a landscaper! Giving your garden or yard a fall facelift can make a house look dramatically different and scheduling can be a breeze as many landscaping companies are less busy in the fall. Don’t delay, though! You don’t want to miss the fall planting season!